Watching: Series 2 of Jonathan Creek
Reading: Rereading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
Listening to: Goofy's Greats on vinyl - a K-Tel classic
Making me smile: the freesias popping up all over the place in our lawn and scenting the whole street
When I was growing up I loved stories about buried treasure. These days I love hearing tales about decrepit old barns, which on closer inspection house priceless classic cars. Or abandoned houses whose wine cellars contains crates of rare, vintage wine... and hidden in the attic is a long-lost painting from a master and a Stradivarius violin.
Such anecdotes hold the world's possibilities in the palms of their hands - when treasure is found then anything must be possible.
Have you ever found a treasure?
When I was seventeen, I rifled through a box of things in my grandmother's garage and came across a simple black crepe dress with an embroidered lace detail at the waist. I'm not sure if the photograph does it credit. I've never worn the dress, I'm not sure if I could still squeeze into it, but I can't part with it - I can't even tell you why.
Earlier in the year I helped clean out the garden shed of a deceased relative and I rescued this object from the skip.
Again, I can't tell you why I was drawn to it. Nobody has been able to tell me what it is. I suspect, given the location and history of said relative, it will have something to do with coal mining. The writing on the face says: Nobel's Explosive Co Ltd, Glasgow, 141096. It is now sitting on a shelf in my lounge room as an object of curiosity... and still nobody can tell me what it is? Does anybody have a clue?
I've unearthed odd and peculiar books in unexpected places too - The Wide World Letter Writer: with Answers is my favourite. Listen to some of the titles of letters: From a Lad to a Sea Captain asking to go to Sea (and there's an answer!), From an Absent Lover Complaining of a Scarcity of Letters (oops, and there's no reply), Invitation to a Fancy Ball (with an answer accepting and an answering declining). The book is old. The pages are yellowed and the hardcover has come away from the spine. It has a preface, an introduction, and a list of Abbreviations used in Writing and Printing, but I can't find a date. I found the book in a dingy old cupboard at my uncle's house - an uncle who was illiterate and couldn't read. Perhaps he sensed it was a treasure too.
Do you think treasure can beget treasure, because the story potential here is starting to fire my mind! What kind of story could I come up with if I combined these unconnected elements - a black dress, an instrument used in mining, an old book and... a barn full of classic cars? I can't help feeling that the possibilities are endless. What's more, I'd predict that if all ten LoveCats ran with Treasure as a story idea, each and every one of us would come up with a different tale (hmm... now that could be an interesting challenge).
Do you have a treasure story you'd like to share?
And if anyone can tell me what my curious object is - with a link to it on the Internet - you can choose a book from my backlist as a prize.